Could COVID-19 survivors’ blood help save ill patients?
As more people recover from COVID-19, that means more people should have antibodies against the virus. And it’s possible that blood donations from those survivors could help protect or treat other people, according to some infectious disease experts. The general notion is far from new. In the first half of the 20th century, doctors used “convalescent serum” in an effort to treat people during outbreaks of viral infections like measles, mumps and influenza — including during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.The principle is fairly simple: When a pathogen invades the body, the immune system produces antibodies that latch onto the enemy, marking it for destruction. After recovery, those antibodies remain circulating in a person’s blood, for anywhere from months to years. In theory, transferring some of those antibodies to other people with the same virus could help their bodies fight it off. Or, given to healthy people — like the health care workers on the front lines — the antibodies might offer some temporary protection from infection.Surgeon General: “Things are going to get worse before they get better””60 Minutes”: The race to find vaccines and drugs for the novel coronavirusIn the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic — with no vaccine or